The Real Secret: Sexual Harassment & Bullying Behind The Scenes At Victoria’s Secret
There’s been over 30 shocking accounts of abuse.
It hasn’t been good news for Victoria’s Secret in the last few years. With changes in attitudes towards women and body types allowing fresh brands such as Savage X Fenty to fill the plus size gap, the lingerie giant has refused to keep up with the times and for that it has suffered.
Amongst the many other issues that have a part to play in what could be its demise, the choice that VS has made to stick to its old fashioned ways throughout multiple complaints about its culture, such as lack of diversity and on going sexism, could at one time be seen as one of its biggest downfalls...until now.
With its annual show officially being cancelled due to drops in viewers and rumours that CEO Leslie Waxner may be stepping down, another nail in the coffin has come in the form of allegations of sexual harassment and bullying by former Chief Marketing Officer Ed Razek.
A New York Times report has revealed over 30 shocking accounts from Victoria’s Secret employees and models detailing inappropriate behaviour. Razek has been leading its parent company L brands for decades, building a culture of misogyny with Wexner.
There are claims of Razek trying to kiss models, asking them to sit on his lap and even touching a model in the crotch, moments before the 2018 show. Another shocking claim has been made by 3 seperate people at the same show, which details Razek telling model Bella Hadid to “forget her panties” during a fitting and that she could walk “down the runway with those perfect titties.”
The report also claims that complaints have been getting filed for years and that just last summer the HR department had more than a dozen allegations made, that have come to nothing. Not long after Razek left the company, a public relations exec filed a harassment complaint to then be placed on administrative leave.
In 2019, over 100 models signed a petition on sexual misconduct within the company, including some photographers that have been accused of inappropriate behaviour. Alongside this were also discussions of the obvious concerns relating to the relationship Wexner had with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
Razek has of course denied all complaints made against him, he wrote in an email that they were ‘categorically untrue’, ‘misconstructed’ & ‘taken out of context.’ He then went on to speak of his fortune of being able to work with some world-class models and that he took pride in the mutual respect they had for each other.
With so many allegations coming to light and previous issues within the brand, it’s hard to believe there is no truth to it and so we continue to wait to see how this story unfolds.